Maserati revealed its first undisguised production images of the new Levante, the first crossover in the luxury brand’s 100-year history.
The vehicle will be built in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Mirafiori assembly plant. It will be unveiled at the Geneva auto show next week.
The midsize Levante is due to go on sale in Europe this spring and reach dealerships in North America later this year.
In a statement Friday, Maserati said the Levante “features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille.”
The crossover features a streamlined shape with a heavily tapered back window and frameless door windows.
The brand said electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs will be standard on all versions of the Levante, as will all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Details of its gasoline and Euro 6-compliant diesel engine variants were undisclosed.
Though the final price won't be announced until a public presentation at the Geneva car show next month, Maserati has said the SUV will start at about 70,000 euros ($78,000), which would put it squarely between the marque's Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans.
Originally slated for introduction in 2014, the car is a cornerstone of Maserati's effort to more than double sales in the next two years by reviving flagging demand in the SUV-loving Chinese and U.S. markets. The nameplate's global deliveries dropped 11 percent last year.
At one time, FCA had intended to build the Levante in Detroit alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee. But executives later scrapped the idea, saying the luxury brand must remain Italian-built, and then redesigned the vehicle, delaying its appearance.
Bloomberg contributed to this report